Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Mexican state legislature occupied to protest immunity for governor

About 300 people occupied the state legislature in Chetumal, the capital of the southeastern Mexican state of Quintana Roo, and clashed with police during protests against ruling party lawmakers’ approval of legislation that would grant immunity from prosecution to Gov. Roberto Borge.

Some protesters interrupted a special session of the legislature inside the building in Chetumal, located 1,335 kilometers (830 miles) east of Mexico City, while other demonstrators fought with police outside.

Lawmakers, most of them members of Borge’s Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, approved the first articles of a so-called “immunity package” for the current administration despite the protests.

In a video posted on Twitter, Gov.-elect Carlos Joaquin Gonzalez asked lawmakers “to not betray the people, (and) to name those who are complicit with corruption in public office.”

“Society will not let a corrupt system shield itself,” Joaquin, candidate of an alliance of the Party of the Democratic Revolution, or PRD, and the National Action Party, or PAN, and winner of the June 5 election, said.

Lawmakers have approved reforms to the state constitution, creating a new Justice Prosecutor’s Office, a post to be filled by replacing the existing Attorney General’s Office.

The process of filling this post has already caused a controversy since the appointee would remain in office for seven years.

Joaquin has said that the justice prosecutor would “protect or shield” Borge from prosecution after he leaves office on Sept. 25.